As I’ve mentioned before, back when I was job hunting after being laid off, I signed up for a bunch of services that were supposed to send me tips on jobs that were relevant to my skills and experience.
I’ve continued to get those emails, and they are often entertaining.
This one service, The Ladders, which specializes in placing executive-level job seekers, regularly sends me messages with the subject line, “Public relations director jobs for you.” I especially like that personal touch, the “for you” part, don’t you? Just for you; I didn’t compile public relations director jobs for anyone else but you…”
I’m not sure how The Ladders decided that that was the only type job I wanted, but it’s really fixated on it. I get an email like this from them every week or two, sometimes more often.
Here’s the thing, though — not once have they sent a tip on an actual “public relations director” job. At least, not since February, which is as far back as I’ve been saving them.
In addition to that “Commercial Escrow Officer” gem above — which in no way bears any relationship to anything on my resume — The Ladders has in recent months tipped me to the following “public relations director” opportunities:
- Sr. Electronic Engineer / Support
- Air Compressor Technician
- Executive Assistant
- Supervisor Meeting and Special Events
- Executive Director
- Military Analyst Lead
- Veteran Arabic Levantine Linguist Analyst
- Veteran Arabic Iraqi Linguist Analyst
- Video Production Specialist
- Army Mission Command Program Analyst Senior
What makes this worse is that The Ladders is really selective in what it sends me. Other services send me lists of 25 or 30 job openings at a time, many (but not all) of them just as irrelevant. But The Ladders picks one or two at a time especially for me!
And yeah, I see the thing that advises me, “To improve your matches, consider editing your job goals.” But I have no idea what username and password I set up for that service five years ago, and would it really be worth it? It obviously ignores the input from me it has now.
This would all just be a hoot if not for the fact that there are algorithms just as bad as this one screening resumes and rejecting them before they are ever viewed by a human. I’ve had plenty of experience with that. When your last job, the one you held for many years, is “vice president/editorial page editor,” if the prospective employer is anything other than a newspaper, their algorithm isn’t going to have a clue what to do with you. It takes a human to think, “Hmmm, here’s a guy who knows his community, knows the movers and shaker in both politics and business in the state, and has writing and other communications skills that could translate well to what I need…”
So forgive me if I don’t laugh uncontrollably at the fact that these programs are even worse at matching me to a job than Netflix is at figuring out what kinds of movies I like…